It is with great sadness Wigan Warriors confirm today that Dom Manfredi has immediately retired from Rugby League.
In June, the Club announced that the winger was set to retire at the end of the 2021 season on medical grounds, but after another consultation, Manfredi has now called time on his playing career.
The initial announcement came after Manfredi suffered a knee injury in training – an injury to his left knee that has given him multiple issues in the past.
Now, after being medically advised, the 27-year-old has decided to hang up his boots immediately.
Leigh-born Manfredi has been at Wigan since he was 14. Starting in the Club’s Academy system, he progressed through the ranks to make his professional debut in 2013. Overall, he made 82 appearances and scored 57 tries for the Warriors.
Two of those tries – arguably the two most memorable – came against Warrington in the 2018 Super League Grand Final. Just weeks after returning from an ACL injury, Manfredi scored twice to inspire Wigan to Grand Final glory.
Along with many memories, Manfredi ends his Rugby League career with a Grand Final ring and a League Leaders’ Shield medal. He was also part of the 2016 Super League Dream Team.
Beside the success also came numerous injuries and long spells on the sidelines. Over two years prior to the 2018 Grand Final – towards the end of the 2016 – Manfredi suffered a serious knee injury, requiring a multi-ligament reconstruction and microfracture. He had already undergone a major knee operation whilst in the Wigan Academy.
In 2017, after almost 12 months of rehabilitation, he sustained a re-rupture of his ACL during a Reserves game – requiring a second extended rehab period of almost 12 months.
He returned to full training towards the end of July 2018 and went on to make a successful return to play in Reserves games and complete his long battle with injury to secure his place in the first team squad in time for the 2018 Grand Final at Old Trafford, where his most memorable night in a Wigan shirt took place.
Renowned for his tough carries and quick feet, Manfredi will always be remembered for his incredible bravery and commitment. Everyone at Wigan Warriors would like to thank him for everything he has done for the Club and congratulates him on a fantastic Rugby League career. The Club wishes him all the best for the future.
On his immediate retirement, Manfredi said: “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Rugby League. I’m just disappointed it’s not ended on my terms, but I know I’ve given everything possible. There’s not one more percent I could have given. I’m finishing with no regrets – I’ve done everything I can. I’m just gutted.
“You take things from being in those dark places during your career. I’ve learned from past experiences that I will overcome it; I will get better and I will be alright – that’s what gets me through it and that’s what’s going to get me through this.
“I can’t thank the Wigan fans enough. I’ve got a close bond with them all. I have a lot of respect for them. They’ve been unbelievable supporting me down the years through everything and I just want to say thank you. I want to thank all the staff and players too. They’ve all been there for me.
“Rollercoaster is an understatement to describe my Rugby League career. It’s been up and down a few times but, on the whole, I’ve loved every minute. I’d do it all again, despite what it’s done to my body. It’s been worth it.”
Executive director, Kris Radlinski, added: “Nobody can question just how much Dom has tried. It has genuinely broken our hearts watching him push his body.
“Unfortunately, after receiving medical advice, there is nothing more that they can do for Dom’s knee. The priority now is to get him pain free so that he can live a normal life. This will involve very aggressive surgery in which the surgeons break Dom’s leg and realign his knee.
“That will not be the end of his surgeries as in 15 years’ time, he will require a complete knee replacement.
“Dom has been with us since he was 14-years-old. He is such an unassuming, humble and honest man. He wanted no fuss this week and I had to explain to him just how much he means to Wigan fans and how much they will want to send him off well.
“On Friday for the game against Salford, Dom will lead the team out onto the field. He will be joined by his family and a montage of his greatest moments will be shown on the big screen pre-game.
“Please show Dom as much support as you can, he so deserves it.
“We will work hard with Dom to ensure that he has a great life after rugby. I make no apologies for reaching out to the Rugby League Community by asking if anyone has any potential work or career opportunities for Dom to consider, then please get in touch.”